Peony lovers from across Canada will gather in Castlegar in June for the Canadian Peony Society’s National Peony Festival.
After four years of hosting the highly successful B.C. Yukon Peony Show, organizers in Castlegar were offered the opportunity to host the 2019 national show. Volunteers have been hard at work pretty much since last year’s show finished and the national show promises to be the best event the group has put on.
The show is open to amateurs and organizers encourage anyone with a peony growing in their garden to enter a bloom. Local participation in the previous Castlegar shows has been exceptional.
Activities at the festival will expand beyond the typical flower show, and even reach outside of the Castlegar area.
Events kick off on Thursday, June 20 with the Slocan Lake historical bus tour. This all-day outing will take participants to the Kohan Reflection Garden and Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre in New Denver. The next stop is lunch at the Slocan Lake Golf Course, followed by a tour of the oldest intact sternwheeler in the world — the SS Moyie in Kaslo. The tour will end with a soak at Ainsworth Hot Springs.
Floral entries for the show portion of the festival will be accepted on Friday, June 21.
Saturday, June 22 will be an action-packed day. A luncheon featuring a presentation by the floral show’s judge Reiner Jakubowski kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Jakubowski is well known in the peony world and is the registrar for the American Peony Society.
The National Peony Festival Show opens at 1 p.m. on June 22. This portion of the festival is completely free and will feature all of the floral entries and award presentations.
A Chop Box design contest takes place later that day. This fun contest provides contestants with a box full of supplies and a time limit to make a floral arrangement.
Seminars will round out the afternoon followed by the National Peony Society’s AGM.
The day will close with a dinner and live auction.
The public has one more chance to view the blooms on Sunday, June 23.
Castlegarpeony.com is the place to go for more information on everything from the event’s schedules to how to plant, ship and store your peonies. Tickets for specific activities can also be purchased on the site.